cc Wars are not won with the help of guns,, tanks and planes alone, and a
war may be lost even if all these powerful weapons are available in sufficient
cc Therefore, we say to the world : do not take Polish resistance lightly;
treat our nation as it deserves to be treated . . .
"... No one can reproach us if, after having accepted all alone the
challenge of the whole military might of Germany, staking the entire
heritage of a thousand years of our history in defence of the integrity,
sovereignty and honour of the Polish nation, we do not want to sacrifice
the same values in favour of one of our Allies. We believe that our martyr-
ology and our struggle for the common cause will spare us untimely
reproaches and render impossible the putting forward of claims to our
lands, so painfully redeemed in blood.
Cf . . . One of the main guiding principles of the Polish Government and
nation has always been and will continue to be, to secure friendly relations
with Russia. That is why the facts separating us must be removed as
soon as possible. We expect the Soviet authorities to let the tens of
thousands of members of Polish soldiers* families leave the U.S.S.R. as
soon as possible, together with tens of thousands of Polish children and
orphans. We also ask for the release of men fit to carry arms and for the
continuation of the welfare and relief work for Polish citizens in Russia,
deported after 1939, until they are able to return to their homes in Poland.
These are not problems which affect Allied unity. But there are limits to
concessions beyond which no Pole will go."
On the very same day., May 4, I9433 when every cinema in the U.S.A.
was presenting the film c Mission to Moscow/ which endeavoured to
convince its audience that " any crime is a virtue when committed by the
Kremlin "—on that May 4, Stalin, replying to the correspondent of the
London Times and New York Times once more gave an assurance that the
<c Government of the U.S.S.R., desire to see a strong and independent
Poland after the defeat of Hitlerite Germany " and that relations between
Poland and the U.S.S.R. after the warcc should be based upon the funda-
mentals of solid good-neighbourly relations and mutual respect, or, should
the Polish people so desire, upon the fundamentals of an alliance providing
for mutual assistance against the Germans, as the chief enemies of the
Soviet Union and Poland."
Read through Western eyes, Stalin's letter seemed friendly enough to
the Polish cause., but it was written by a pen imbued with the spirit of a
different world,, where the words so often have entirely different inter-
pretations. To the Poles, accustomed to Russian oriental phraseology,
this letter only augmented the existing anxiety. Stalin., while in the act
of severing relations with the Polish Government, was emphasising yet
again that the Soviets wished a * strong and independent Poland.' In
the Russian text of Stalin's letter to the correspondent, Mr. Parker, the
term sqjuz was used. This can mean both * alliance * and * union ' in
the Russian language, although to the Westerner a vast difference lies
between these two words. It was to be anticipated that, at some future
date in the relations between Russia and Poland—if the " Polish people
so desire " (and this * desire 5 had already been forestalled by the Kremlin's